Originated from Southern Louisiana, crawfish etouffee is a combination of Cajun and Creole cuisines. Basically, crawfish tails are smothered in a mixture called etouffee. Etouffee is rich in flavours inspired by Cajun spices and Creole cooking techniques. Both cuisines share common attributes from the French, Spanish and African cultures but are still distinct.
We’ll talk about that later but let’s talk about the recipe first. So without further ado, quickly look into the recipe.
For Crawfish Etouffee
- Butter- 1 Stick
- All-Purpose Flour- 1 1⁄2 tbsp
- Celery (Chopped)- Three-fourth Cup
- Crawfish Tails- Around 455 grams
- Bell Pepper- Three-fourth Cup
- Onion (Finely Chopped)- Three-fourth Cup
- Tomato Puree- 2 1⁄2 to 3 cups
- Salt- As Per Taste
- Pepper- As Per Taste
- Water- As required
- Cayenne Pepper- As Per Taste
- Cajun Seasoning- 1 1⁄2 tbsp (You can buy this seasoning from the market or prepare it at home. Scroll down for the Cajun Seasoning recipe.)
- SpringOnions (Chopped)
- Fresh Parsley (Chopped)
COOKING PROCEDURE FOR CRAWFISH ETOUFFEE
Follow these simple steps to make crawfish etouffee.
- Put a pan on the stove or induction (it should be of heavy base). Now put in butter and melt it.
- Once the butter melts, add all-purpose flour to it and constantly stir over low flame. Keep stirring the mixture until it turns brownish in colour (like that of peanut butter). The more it is stirred, the more good texture it’ll give you. But, make sure not to overcook or burn the roux.
Before we proceed to the next step, let me tell you about ‘roux’ as some of you might be unfamiliar with this word. Roux is basically a mixture of fat and flour (taken in equal quantities) that is stirred together for about 10 minutes or more constantly and acts as a thickening agent for sauces, broths, and gravies. Talking of colour texture, it can either be of peanut butter-brown colour, or white colour. Since etouffee resembles Cajun cuisine, the roux is prepared in a brownish texture.
- Now to the cooked mixture or roux, add bell pepper, onion, and chopped celery and let it cook in the mixture for about 5 minutes over medium to low flame. The vegetables will be tender once they are nicely cooked. Casually stir the mixture.
- Add tomato puree, bay leaf (optional), salt, pepper, and Cajun Seasoning. You can buy the Cajun Seasoning from the market or try a homemade version. As promised, here’s the recipe for Cajun Seasoning,
INGREDIENTS FOR CAJUN SEASONING
- Salt- 2 tsp
- Garlic Powder- 2 tsp
- Paprika- 2 and a half tsp
- Black Pepper- 1 tsp
- Onion Powder- 1 tsp
- Cayenne Pepper Or Kashmiri Laal Mirch- 1 tsp
- Oregano (Dried)- 1 1⁄4 tsp
- Thyme (Dried)- 1 1⁄4 tsp
- Red Chilli Flakes (Optional)- Half tsp
Blend all the ingredients for just a few seconds, and your Cajun Seasoning is ready.
- Take out the bay leaf at this point.
- Moving onto the next step for making crawfish etouffee. After adding the ingredients mentioned in step 4, incorporate crawfish tails into the cooked gravy. Now, it’s time to put in 3-4 cups of water (you can increase or decrease the quantity of water depending upon the consistency) and reduce the broth. Cover and let it simmer over a low flame for about 15-20 minutes. Stir the gravy occasionally.
Or, you can first boil the crawfish tails and then add them into the gravy. Though the most preferred way to cook it is by letting them simmer in water along with all the spices and flavours, either way, the results will be the same.
- Once cooked, top the crawfish etouffee with chopped parsley and spring onions. Serve it with rice.
- Keep stirring as and when required (as mentioned in the recipe). Otherwise, the mixture might stick to the pan or burn completely.
- You can also add shrimp, lobster, crab, or shellfish in place of crawfish to the etouffee.
COOKING THE PERFECT RICE THAT GOES WITH YOUR CRAWFISH ETOUFFEE
INGREDIENTS NEEDED FOR RICE
- Oil- 1 tsp
- Firstly, rinse the rice two to three times and then soak them in water.
- Put a pressure cooker on the stove or induction. Put some water into the pressure cooker. The quantity of water will depend on the quantity of rice. Let’s say if you’re cooking 2 bowls of rice, then 2 1⁄2 cups of water will go into the rice. Add a little oil to the water so as to avoid sticking to the rice.
- Add salt (as per taste) to the water.
- Put in rice. You can use the same water in which the rice was soaked for cooking rice as it retains nutrients, and you need not to worry about the fat because after the rice is rinsed thoroughly for about 2-3 times, excess starch is removed.
- Cover the cooker with the lid and let them cook on a high flame.
- On the first whistle, turn off the gas and wait for a few minutes before removing the lid from the pressure cooker.
Your boiled rice is ready to be served with the hot crawfish etouffee.
CAJUN AND CREOLE CUISINES- THE DIFFERENCE
Because this recipe is a blend of Cajun and Creole cuisines, it makes it inevitable to have a little understanding of both cuisines. These cuisines have some similarities, which make it as hard as biting down a bullet for some people to distinguish between the two. The major difference in both the Cajun and Creole cuisines is that the former doesn’t incorporate tomatoes in its dishes, whereas the latter does.
SIDE DISHES FOR CRAWFISH ETOUFFEE
This dish can be enjoyed with a number of good side options like:
Bright green salad is a treat for the eyes and taste buds. Fresh lettuces, along with the dressing of balsamic vinegar, go hand-in-hand to add the perfect flavour and crunch to your main course. You can also use kale or cabbage. This one will not just feel light to have with the thick gravy but is also an alive and kicking option for health-conscious people.
Zucchini roasted with eggplant, or yellow squash makes a delightful side dish when seasoned with Cajun seasoning.
Since this is a gravy dish, gravy-soaked bread is the best combination ever. The rich taste of gravy emulsified in bread is just another level of pleasure for the taste buds.
Sweet Potato Fries- Baked In Cajun Style
Cajun seasoned baked sweet potato fries are both nutrient-rich and savoury. You’ve got to try this once to know how good it is.